Stitches and Burns

Finally! I can write about it. Life can get pretty weird sometimes. When my cousin Cocong [or whatever it is she is called now], who now lives in the US, suddenly came to visit, the first news she delivered was that she quit her job [for more or less the same reasons I quit mine]. Then one of those lightnings of inspirations hit me and before I could change my mind, I hurriedly sharpened my pencil [not to mention my memory, my wit and my resentment]. Not that I didn’t plan to write about it ever but I was afraid and apprehensive about what people would say once I start to sound like the fox who could not reach the grapes,or the bitter, scorned woman, or worse, the holier-than-thou hypocrite. But the only way to exorcise these demons is to broadcast my angst regardless of my audience [or because of my audience? Hmm…. Cant be too introspective here or else I will get lost in my rhetoric]. But the idea is: there are lessons to be learned. Sure there were mistakes I made. Sure I had my own shortcomings as an an employee. Sure I was arrogant. But I also want to stress that it is important to keep our dignity as human beings and that we don’t always have to take shit from others or kiss their asses or suck  up to them just because we don’t have positions [or because we want one] or because we want to put food on our tables. So, here goes…

I got tired of being a pushover. I loved helping people out and I always went out of my way to make them feel important and deserving of my time. But one could only help others so much, especially when you don’t get their respect [which is basically what I only wanted in the first place]. For instance, someone once asked me to sit as panel member of an undergrad thesis defense. So he gave me this 200 and something pages of awfully written text, study it in 24 hours and hand out scholarly comments pronto. I refused. The situation was ridiculous.I had a pile of work that needed my attention first. It was a very short notice he was giving me. Besides, I wasn’t qualified to sit at the panel. But he insisted because he was letting personal reasons interfere with his work: he was not in good terms with the person who should be sitting at the panel. So with much disgruntlement, I relented in the end because he was my friend [in fairness to him, I had always leaned on him when I had PERSONAL problems]; plus, I really cared for those students. To my horror, after all has been said and done, I found out I wasn’t going to be paid the measly P300 panelist fee because the said sum has been released to the panelist who sat at the proposal defense. I hit the roof of course and promptly took up the matter with him. He was sympathetic naturally but all the action I got from him was an assurance that God will definitely repay me for my kindness. Wow. I was dumbfounded. If he had taken effort for my sake, he would have learned of the circumstances and thus, could have advised me that it was going to be a free ride at my expense. If I agreed on those terms, I wouldn’t feel bad. I take pride in my generosity and I don’t normally pass up opportunities to help students. I didn’t care about that insulting amount [yes, insulting considering how insensitive people in power tolerate such stinking 11th-hour harassment system]. But making sure I was paid was to my mind, a symbol of his respect for me as a professional. But we obviously did not see it in the same way.

[To be continued. I gotta stop right here coz the memory is making me hyperventilate]


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